Incoming Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack wants to bring smile back to city

Incoming Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack aims to put a smile back on the city as the club embark on a partnership with Atlanta United.

Cormack has brought in £5million of fresh investment to go towards working capital as he prepares to replace Stewart Milne at the helm next month.

Two-fifths of that funding is coming from Atlanta United, who have won the MLS and the main American cup competition during their three-year existence, while setting new attendance records.

Aberdonian Cormack, who is based in the Georgia city,  believes teaming up with the MLS club can help push the Dons towards regular qualification for the Europa League group stages.

Cormack, who will lead fundraising attempts for a new stadium, added: “With the income Celtic and Rangers have, and they are upping the ante, Celtic last time I saw their wage bill was £60million and ours is getting close to £10million, so we can’t compete from that perspective.

“So for us it’s looking at having great people at the club both on and off the field so we can punch above our weight and increase turnover, We have seen great performances from Derek (McInnes) and the team in the last few years.

“And it’s about infrastructure. Having the new facilities out at Cormack Park is critical. That facility has been 116 years in the making.

“The other thing that’s important is looking at football worldwide. I think you are going to see a lot more collaboration. The economies of scale – and I’m touching on the Atlanta relationship between their great capabilities in America and South America and our ability to tap into Europe – from a scouting perspective, makes sense.

“We are going to take 90 days to get Cormack Park done and with Atlanta going through best practices on the football and commercial side.”

Cormack, whose family have put in more than £9.2million into the club, added: “Having not heard Stewart tell me bad stuff yet I am probably anxious, nervous a bit but really excited and I have found that a healthy combination in business.

“I talk to a lot of successful people and what drew them to success was the fear of failure. That’s an awful way to do it but I kind of have a bit of that in me.

“I have had people tell me, like with the last business that we bought in 2004 when it was going bust, ‘what a waste of money, don’t get involved in that’. By hiring and working with some great people, we sold the business for almost $1billion dollars 12 years later.

“Our goal is to put a smile back on the city of Aberdeen.”

Atlanta president Darren Eales, who previously worked for Tottenham, claimed Aberdeen were an attractive club to work with because of their administration, their success in winning UEFA’s community award, the relationship with Cormack and finding a similar culture on previous visits.

Eales added: “We’re in a global game and we feel there are some real synergies both technically and commercially from having a partner club in Scotland.

“From economies of scale, everything from scouting, data analytics, sports science, youth development, there are many possibilities to share those resources.

“We are really excited in the next 90 days to digging deeper for the benefits to both clubs.”

Milne has been planning his succession with Cormack for several years.

“After 22 years I finally get out of jail,” he joked. “This was one of the things that I have discovered that it is relatively easy getting into a football club, but it is extremely difficult getting out. Major change is afoot at Pittodrie.

“Over the last few months I have been convincing Dave over what a wonderful role being a chairman is, highlighting all the positives. After December 16  I think I will mention some of the downsides that come with the job as well.

“The mere fact that it takes over your life is something that you have to learn to live with.”

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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